December 2, 1997 FGDC Coordination Meeting Summary

Persons Attending
Jan Morton (Geologic); M.K. Miles, Nancy Blyler (Facilities); Dave Catlin (EPA); Millington Lockwood (Shoreline); Gerry Barton, Anne Hale Miglarese (NOAA); Fred Broome, Dan Karlson (Cultural & Demographic); Gale TeSelle (Agriculture); Richard Yorczyk (Geodetic); David Moorehouse (Energy); Nancy Lopez (Water Data); Mark DeMulder, Rick Pearsall (USGS- NMD); Richard Hogan (Standards); Gene Thorley (Chair); John Moeller, Barbara Poore, Kim Burns-Braidlow (FGDC Secretariat); Allan Doyle (BBN); Ermil Horvath (NRCS); Maaury Nyquist (Biological Data); Kristine Kuhlman (Univ. of MD); John Knoerl (NPS)

Review of November Action Items
Action 1 (Coordination Group Members who have not yet submitted their agency or Subcommittee/Working Group ranking of priorities and needs, should do so by Nov 14, 1997.) Action completed, no further action required. See Dan Karlson's presentation comments under Standards section.

Action 2 (Requests for public review of draft standards will be circulated to the Coordination Group and the SWG concurrently and any issues will be identified to the SWG for action.) Action completed, no further action required. See Richard Hogan's comments under the Standards section.

Action 3 (FGDC Executive Secretariat will send an additional request for members for the Biological Data Working Group.) Action continued, Mr. Moeller will send out a request for additional membership to the Coordination Group and the The Nature Conservancy.

Action 4 (Kathy Covert will make revisions discussed in the meeting and will secure review from OMB.) Action continued, Ms. Covert will continue to work on this issue.

Action 5 (Submit a list of up to three topics for which the agency/organization will commit a Team member. Provide name of proposed Team member if possible. Provide list to Mr. Moeller by November 25 for discussion at the December meeting.) Action complete. Mr. Moeller and Ms. Burns-Braidlow will review the topics and names he received. See agenda topic Discussion of Participation on UCGIS Research Work Teams.

Report on Metadata Project Results
Kristine Kuhlman of the Department of Geography, University of Maryland at Baltimore County (UMBC) presented the activities and research being done by her department on Metadata. UMBC surveyed local, state, and federal agencies on their use of the FGDC metadata standard and she presented the results of that survey. The survey indicated a majority of data is undocumented, and much of the data that is documented is not FGDC compliant due in part because agencies are not making use of the existing Metadata tools. The lack of resources agencies have to allocate to Metadata and the lack of general knowledge of the FGDC standard itself are also contributing factors to the low amount of Metadata captured. The survey also identified requirements for establishing effective Metadata guidelines, including accessibility via the Internet, directed to low technical users, reside in a nonproprietary format, and keeping the users "in touch" with standards requirements and techniques.

UMBC is also working on a Framework Demonstration Project to integrate framework data in the Baltimore-Washington region. UMBC has identified a Metadata Hierarchy that contains 4 levels of documentation. Level 0 begins with a search engine followed by Levels 1-3 that provide basic documentation, user expanded documentation, and full FGDC compliant documentation.

    Action: Ms. Kuhlman will follow up of the survey results by analyzing the cross- correlation of the results and she will report her findings to the Coordination Group.

Richard Hogan presented the Status of Standards. FGDC has 3 new standards that were endorsed by the Steering Committee at their last meeting. Mr. Hogan reported the Standard Working Group (SWG) has resource problems recruiting reviewers for the standards they have in the review stage of the standards process. A discussion regarding whether or not all agencies were represented at the SWG level was brought up. Proposals and standards should be reviewed by all effected agencies and this must begin at the early stages of development.

    Action: Coordination Group members are to review their agencies membership in the SWG to ensure they are fully represented and take steps to ensure the agency is well represented.

Because of the number of standards now pending, the SWG will have to prioritize in order to process these standards. There is a change in the review process for FGDC standards, that being the Coordination Group will not have to approve proposals or standards for public review. The Coordination Group will, however, still be made aware of the status of all standards each month and will be asked to review proposals and standards concurrent with the public reviews. This means Coordination Group members are still responsible for having their respective agencies review all standards activities. Concern was expressed by some members for the need to have electronic copies of the Status of Standards and other meeting notes in order to allow them to disseminate this information more easily to others in their agencies. Mr. Moeller decided that E- mail will be the main method of dissemination for meeting notes and other pertinent information, however, exceptions will be made to those members having difficulty receiving E-mail.

    Action: SWG provide Coordination Group with electronic copy of Status of Standards. Also consider placing the one page status document on the SWG home page.

Mr. Moeller announced that Denise Perreca has left the FGDC SWG for another position within USGS-NMD and will be temporarily replaced by Frank Beck, USGS-NMD. Mr. Moeller also announced a detail opportunity to work with the SWG. Anyone interested in submitting names should contact Mr. Moeller. The question was raised if FGDC thought about an IPA so states could become more involved with FGDC and bridge the gap between the two. Millington Lockwood commented the shoreline standard was not reviewed by NSGIC or NACO and he would prefer the scope of standards be broadened so all interested parties become aware of these activities early in the development process. The Coordination Group agreed they wish to see the SWG proposal process improved to include better ways to communicate with the public what the impact of new the standard will have and what groups will be effected by the standard.. It was also recommend that an ad hoc working group be formed to tackle outreach and education issues that pertain to standards issues to help ensure standards are reviewed by all effected parties.

    Action: SWG will consider adding additional requirements to new proposals and standards to include the impact of the proposed standard and the groups that will be effected by the standard. The SWG will report back the changes at the February Coordination meeting.

    Action: Barbara Poore and Mr. Lockwood will meet and draft a charter for the proposed working group.

Fred Broome and Mr. Karlson presented the results of the compilation of Subcommittee/Working Group ranking of priorities and needs of standards. The top rating standard was identified as The Encoding Standard for Geospatial Metadata CSDGM Version 2.0 followed by: National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy, Content Standard for Digital Orthoimagery, Content Standard for Digital Elevation Model, Address Content Standard, and Earth Cover Classification System. After reviewing the results of the presentation the question was raised whether FGDC should have as its top priority the Framework categories. It was suggested that Subcommittees and Working Groups that have Framework category data who do not have standards in development should begin doing so as their top priority.

    Action: Subcommittees and Working Groups which have Framework category data ensure that there are standards in development that will address Framework needs.

Mr. Moeller announced a Framework Focus Group meeting will be held December 17th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The location has not yet been determined but those interested should contact Mike Domeratz.

Discussion of Participation on UCGIS Research Working Teams
Mr. Moeller reported the number of responses he received from the request for participation on UCGIS Research Working Teams. They are: NOAA - 5, NSGIC - 3, FGDC - 3, GD - l.

    Action: Ms. Burns-Braidlow will identify participants for these Working Teams from the list submitted to Mr. Moeller.

Additional Items Discussed
1) NPS distributed a brochure for the Branch of Mapping and Information Technologies to the Coordination members. Mr Knoerl also submitted the Subcommittee on Cultural and Demographic Data Cultural Resources Work Group Charter. Coordination Group members are asked to review this charter and provide comments to Deidre McCarthy ( by December 17th. The final charter will be presented at the January Coordination Group meeting.

    Action: Coordination Group review and comment on the Subcommittee on Cultural and Demographic Data Cultural Resources Work Group Charter to Deidre McCarthy,, by December 17th.

2) NSDI Partnerships Funding Programs are now open for proposals. A notice soliciting applications for the Cooperative Agreements Program, the NSDI Benefits Program and the Framework Demonstration Projects Program appeared in the Federal Register the week of November 24. Contact information and application information is available through the FGDC Web site Follow the instructions in the online announcement to request applications from the contracting office of the U.S. Geological Survey.

3) Mr. Moeller reported that a letter from Secretary Babbitt to Department Heads encouraging the reporting of progress in their respective departments for the advancement of the NSDI is currently going through the signature process.

4) Status of the 1997 Reports and 1998 Work Plans are not all complete at the time of this meeting.

    Action: Ms. Burns-Braidlow will work with each Subcommittee and Working Group Chair to ensure the completion of these reports and plans.

Coordination Group Schedule for 1998
All Meetings of the FGDC coordination Group are scheduled for the first Tuesday of the month with the exception of March which is the second Tuesday.

All meetings are scheduled to run from 9:00 AM - 12:00 noon.

Meeting locations will rotated among participating organizations throughout the year. Meetings will be scheduled at locations that are readily accessible by Metro and in rooms that can seat at least 30 persons comfortably.

Meeting Dates:

    January 6, 1998
    February 3, 1998
    March 10, 1998
    April 7, 1998
    May 5, 1998
    June 2, 1998
    July 7, 1998
    August 4, 1998
    September 1, 1998
    October 6, 1998
    November 3, 1998
    December 1, 1998

Demonstration and Discussion of Data Viewer and Access Projects
In the afternoon there were demonstrations of several project activities of the OGC, FGDC, NRCS and USACE. These were: the NSDI Clearinghouse and Distributed Mapping Testbed that is being conducted by the OGC and FGDC; the NRCS Natural Resource Data Gateway and Mobile Data Collection prototype; and the USACE CorpsMet 95 Metadata collector.

Each of these Demos were very well presented and well received by the attendees. Each showed some of the project ideas being pursued and tools that are or will be available. The Clearinghouse and Distributed Mapping Testbed shows open network access to heterogeneous sources of geospatial data and how the OGC simple features specifications will begin to fulfill some interoperability requirements. In addition the NRCS discussed an agreement it has established with MIT for assistance in development of interoperability tools and online data serving strategies.

After discussions about the demos and other data viewers and access projects the following were agreed to as actions.

    Action: Support the establishment of an FGDC and OGC co-sponsored group to be an OGC Federal Special Interest Group and FGDC liaison. This group would seek to provide broad involvement of FGDC agencies in technology issues with the OGC; would provide a forum for collective working activities among FGDC agencies and with OGC members; and would provide a mechanism for further development of this initial Testbed as a broader "federated" Testbed. Action: Schedule a second round of demos in a few months Action: USDA will define more specifically what tasks it wishes to accomplish through its agreement with MIT and when they will need to be completed. USDA has interest in collaborating with FGDC agencies in using the MIT agreement to meet the greater NSDI needs.

Next meeting location:
The next location has not been decided.